All Yumiko Kadota ever wanted was to be a surgeon. Young, gifted and dedicated, Yumiko graduated her medical degree with Honours, and was well on her way to becoming an outstanding plastic and reconstructive surgeon. She spent fourteen years studying, working 70+ hour weeks, on call for days at a time, working at numerous hospitals across two states, doing whatever was asked of her – because that’s what was needed to become a doctor. Work life balance was non-existent. Her personal life was one of bargaining with friends and loved ones, a constant cycle of cancelling plans and making up for them. In 2018, she quit. Fourteen years of working towards her dream had taken its toll: the mental, physical and emotional strain had brought her to a tipping point.
In this podcast Presenter Cate Mercer talks with Yumiko about the years she spent working in a world where she needed to stay calm and professional in the face of racism, sexual harassment, sexism, chauvinism, discrimination, favouritism, ageism. A world enshrouded by a professional code of silence. Where the pressures and stresses of heavy workloads drove people to suicide. Where people were afraid to report inappropriate behaviour. Where Yumiko fantasised about the level of injury required for her to be exempt from performing surgery.